Ever since its initial 1999 release on the PlayStation, the Silent Hill series has captivated fans with its twisted, psychological attitude towards horror games. In place of the jump scares of Resident Evil, Silent Hill favors a slow build-up of shock and terror as the player navigates its ugly, haunted world. The demonic creatures that roam Silent Hill are indeed terrifying, but they manifest from the inner torment of the people drawn to the town. Despite some clunky gameplay mechanics, the series remains a fascinating exploration of the broken mentality of its "heroes."
Team Silent, the developers behind the early games, didn't create the insanity of Silent Hill in a vacuum. They were inspired by movies, books, and works of art. While there are a lot of obvious horror nods in Silent Hill (such as to the film Jacob's Ladder), there are other homages that come completely out of left field.
When thinking about the nightmarish world of Silent Hill 2, Madonna's 1998 album, Ray of Light, seems the least likely comparison. However, if not for the sixth song on the album, "Nothing Really Matters," Silent Hill 2 wouldn't be the creepy game that fans love to this day.
Masahiro Ito, monster designer and art director for Silent Hill 2, said that the eerie music video for Madonna's "Nothing Really Matters" influenced the haunting atmosphere of the game. The dingy psychiatric hospital in the music video looks very similar to the one in Silent Hill 2, and the unsettling movements of the patients are reminiscent of how the monsters behave in the game.
Pop music lovers of the 1990s will instantly recognize who Maria is wearing in Silent Hill 2. From the pink, long-sleeved shirt to the leopard skirt, it appears Christina Aguilera's appearance in the 1999 Teen Choice Awards was used as the visual inspiration for Maria's design.
And fashion isn't the only thing Maria has in common with the American singer. Christina Aguilera's middle name is also Maria!
Who knew the 1997 action movie Con Air would continue to live on in Silent Hill 2? Eagle-eyed fans have noticed James Sunderland's wife and daughter are dressed similarly to Nicholas Cage's family in the movie. Laura has same overall jeans and hairstyle, though she wears a striped instead of a yellow shirt. Mary's hair is different from her movie counterpart, but the motherly outfits are identical.
One of the strangest choices the Silent Hill series ever made was to model a key location on a 1990 comedy starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. In the original Silent Hill, Harry Mason's search for his daughter, Cheryl, takes him to the haunted Midwich Elementary School. What you may not realize during your first playthrough is that Midwich resembles the architecture of Astoria Elementary School from Kindergarten Cop.
Both schools share similar archways, double doors, school buses, and medicine cabinets. Even the doggy poster from the game comes from the movie.